x
Breaking News
More () »

Northern Idaho's anti-government streak hampers COVID fight

The area was for a long time the home of the Aryan Nations, whose leader envisioned a “White Homeland” in the county that is now among the worst hit by the pandemic.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Editor's note: In the above video, Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen and Kootenai Health ICU Director Dr. Robert Scoggins discuss what led to crisis standards of care being implemented in North Idaho, as well as the strain these conditions have had on staff.

(AP) — Northern Idaho has a long and deep streak of anti-government activism that is confounding attempts to battle a COVID-19 outbreak. The surge has overwhelmed hospitals in the deeply conservative region. 

A deadly 1992 standoff with federal agents near the Canadian border helped spark an expansion of radical right-wing groups across the country and the area was for a long time the home of the Aryan Nations, whose leader envisioned a “White Homeland” in the county that is now among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospitals in northern Idaho are so packed with COVID-19 patients that authorities announced last week that facilities would be allowed to ration health care.

Watch: Dept. of Defense provides Kootenai Health with 20 medical personnel amid COVID-19 crisis